Emerald triangle get ready; time pay tribute to the tyrant Trump

With a promise to use “care and professionalism,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions has moved to expand a scandal-plagued program of asset forfeiture that allows law enforcement officials to seize money and goods from individuals suspected of crimes, in many cases without a criminal conviction or even a charge. While it is nice to pledge care and professionalism, aspects of this program have proved rife with abuse, and it must be reformed.

The logical foundation of asset forfeiture is recovering the proceeds of criminal activity, such as drug deals. “No criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime,” Mr. Sessions declared in a speech Monday in Minneapolis to the National District Attorneys Association. Again, it is hard to argue with the principle. But in reality, as a Post investigation showed in 2014, asset forfeiture has turned out to be an opportunity for police to seize cash and valuables from drivers stopped for minor infractions, and it often can be extremely difficult for the innocent to recover their property. The bounty is often parceled out to law enforcement agencies, creating a perverse profit motive.

In 2015, the Justice Department under President Barack Obama announced curtailment of a kind of forfeiture that allowed local police to share part of their proceeds with federal authorities. This was known as “adoptive” forfeiture, under which state and local authorities would get the seizure cases processed, or “adopted,” under more permissive federal statues, rather than stricter state laws. The 2015 order all but ended adoptive forfeiture. Now, Mr. Sessions is turning the spigot back on, as a Justice Department policy announcement on Wednesday made clear.

The Post report in 2014 revealed onerous seizures from the innocent. In one case, a 40-year-old Hispanic carpenter from New Jersey was stopped on Interstate 95 in Virginia for having tinted windows. Police said he appeared nervous and consented to a search. They took $18,000 that he said was meant to buy a used car. He had to hire a lawyer to get his money back.

While asset forfeiture is justified in huge drug busts, its abuse in highway arrests and in grabbing small sums from people has gone too far. Mr. Sessions declared in his address to the Minneapolis group: “Helping you do your jobs, helping the police get better, and celebrating the noble, honorable, essential and challenging work you do will always be a top priority of mine.” Wouldn’t it be in service of these goals to curb wrongful asset forfeitures and put in place strong protections against further exploitation by police of innocent Americans?

The Justice Department is promising to implement such protections, and Mr. Sessions said he would instruct department officials to use an “abundance of caution” for seizures involving vehicles and residences, where many mistakes have occurred. That’s not enough. Congress ought to consider legislation introduced by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) with bipartisan support that would increase the government’s burden of proof before seizing assets.

Opinion from Washington Post

Sessions greenlights police to seize cash, property from people suspected of crimes but not charged

The Justice Department announced a new federal policy Wednesday to help state and local police take cash and property from people suspected of a crime, even without a criminal charge, reversing an Obama administration rule prompted by past abuse by police.

Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein said the Justice Department will include more safeguards to prevent the kind of problems that have been documented in the past. Police departments will be required to provide details to the Justice Department about probable cause for seizures, and federal officials will have to more quickly inform property owners about their rights and the status of the seizures.

“The goal here is to empower our police and prosecutors with this important tool that can be used to combat crime, particularly drug abuse,” Rosenstein said at a news briefing. “This is going to enable us to work with local police and our prosecutors to make sure that when assets are lawfully seized that they’re not returned to criminals when there’s a valid basis for them to be forfeited.”

Two years ago, then-Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. barred state and local police from using federal law to seize cash and other property without criminal charges or warrants. Since 2008, thousands of police agencies had made more than 55,000 seizures of cash and property worth $3 billion under a Justice Department civil asset forfeiture program, which allowed local and state police to make seizures and then share the proceeds with federal agencies.

A Washington Post investigation in 2014 found that state and local police had seized almost $2.5 billion from motorists and others without search warrants or indictments since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The Post series revealed that police routinely stopped drivers for minor traffic infractions, pressed them to agree to searches without warrants and seized large amounts of cash when there was no evidence of wrongdoing.

Police then spent the proceeds from the seizure with little oversight, according to the Post investigation. In some cases, the police bought luxury cars, high-powered weapons and armored cars.

“You’re never going to eliminate allegations of abuses,” Rosenstein said, “never going to eliminate mistakes 100 percent. But I think this new policy is going to position us very well to make sure there are very few credible allegations of abuse, and where there are we’re going to make it a priority to follow up.”

The new policy from Attorney General Jeff Sessions authorizes federal “adoption” of assets seized by state and local police when the conduct that led to the seizures violates federal law. Rosenstein said that the department is adding safeguards to ensure that police have sufficient evidence of criminal activity when property is seized. Property owners will receive notice of their rights within 45 days, which is twice as quickly as required by current law. Law enforcement agencies will be required to provide officers with more training on asset forfeiture laws, he said.

State and local law enforcement officials supported the change, but Democratic and Republican lawmakers were skeptical.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) called Sessions’s policy “troubling” and said it would “expand a loophole that’s become a central point of contention nationwide.”

“Criminals shouldn’t be able to keep the proceeds of their crime, but innocent Americans shouldn’t lose their right to due process, or their private property rights, in order to make that happen,” Issa said in a statement.

Holder tweeted that Sessions’s policy was “another extremist action” and said the Obama administration policy was “a reform that was supported by conservatives and progressives, Republicans and Democrats.”

Kanya Bennett, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, called the action “outrageous.”

“We are talking about people who have not been convicted of a crime and are often not given a day in court to reclaim their possessions,” Bennett said. “Civil asset forfeiture is tantamount to policing for profit, generating millions of dollars annually that the agencies get to keep.”

At a meeting with county sheriffs on Feb. 7, President Trump made clear to law enforcement officials that he is a strong supporter of the civil asset forfeiture program and told the Justice Department to rescind the Obama administration restrictions.

On Wednesday, Sessions defended the reversal at a meeting with representatives from the Fraternal Order of Police, the National Sheriffs’ Association, the Major Cities Chiefs Association and other law enforcement officials who back the new policy.

“Civil asset forfeiture is a key tool that helps law enforcement defund organized crime, take back ill-gotten gains and prevent new crimes from being committed, and it weakens the criminals and the cartels,” Sessions said.

Earlier this week, Sessions told the National District Attorneys Association that “no criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime.”

But the ACLU’s Bennett said, “The problem is that we are not talking about criminals.”

“We are talking about Americans who have had their homes, cars, money and other property taken through civil forfeiture, which requires only mere suspicion that the property is connected to a crime,” she said.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/sessions-greenlights-police-to-increase-seizures-of-cash-and-property-from-suspected-criminals/2017/07/19/3522a9ba-6c99-11e7-96ab-5f38140b38cc_story.html?utm_term=.2092cd3ed2ce

 

While you console yourself with all of Trumps failures, remember he’s still a wrecking ball swinging through our country

Trump has been paralyzed on healthcare and tax reform, but his administration has been active in eroding safeguards and protections elsewhere

 

Six ways Trump is ‘dismantling’ the US after six months in office

Business and the economy

Given all that Donald Trump promised the business world during his bombastic campaign, it’s tempting to dismiss the president’s first six months with a “meh”. It would also be myopic.

While protesters are worried about the future, the president has so far failed to pass his tax reforms, which business wanted. But at the same time fears that his China rhetoric, threats of trade wars and Tweets about penalties for US businesses who ship jobs overseas, have not amounted to much.

The economic trends started under Obama have continued: stock markets have continued their giddy ride to uncharted highs, unemployment has continued to drift down and interest rates have remained low.

Trump’s overture may seem a little weak but the president has already made significant moves and still more may be happening in the wings. Trump has ordered a review of Dodd-Frank, the regulations brought in to tame US financial institutions after they triggered the worst recession in living memory. He has appointed a sworn enemy of net neutrality over at the Federal Communications Commission who is now working to dismantle Obama-era open internet protections. He has freed up energy firms to start polluting rivers again and scrapped a rule which barred companies from receiving federal contracts if they had a history of violating wage, labor or safety laws.

After years of gains for consumer, environmental and worker rights groups, the pendulum is being swung the other way – but most often those changes are happening behind closed doors.

In March, Trump pledged to “remove every job-killing regulation we can find” and deregulation teams have been set up to comb through the statutes looking for rules to cull. A recent ProPublica and New York Times investigation found Trump’s deregulation teams were being conducted in the dark in large part by appointees with deep industry ties and potential conflicts of interest.

It’s hardly surprising given that the Trump administration has literally removed the White House visitors book, so we may never know who has been whispering in the president’s ear. Six months in, it is hard to tell what is being cut and by whom. We may never know the consequences of Trump’s regulation death squads until it’s too late. Dominic Rushe

The environment

In the past week, both Emmanuel Macron and Sir Richard Branson have claimed that Donald Trump has been gripped by regret over his decision to withdraw the US from the Paris climate agreement. But hopes that the US president will reverse this decision sit uneasily with the consistency of his administration’s environmental rollbacks.

In Scott Pruitt, Trump has an Environmental Protection Agency chief who understands how the agency works and how to hobble it. Pruitt, who has dismissed the mainstream scientific understanding of climate change, has spearheaded a concerted effort to excise or delay dozens of environmental rules.

Emissions standards for cars and trucks, the clean power plan, water pollution restrictions, a proposed ban on a pesticide linked to developmental problems in children, regulations that stop power plants dumping toxins such as mercury into their surrounds – all have been targeted with efficacious zeal by Pruitt.

The EPA administrator was also a fierce proponent of a US exit from the Paris accord, ensuring that Trump wasn’t swayed by doubts raised by Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state, and Ivanka Trump, his daughter and adviser. The US won’t be able to officially pull out until 2020, but the decision has dealt a hefty blow to the effort to slow dangerous global warming and provided a tangible victory for the nationalist, climate change denying elements that now roam the White House.

Elsewhere, public land has been thrown open to coal mining – an industry repeatedly fetishized by Trump – and oil and gas drilling is being ushered into America’s Arctic and Atlantic waters. Two dozen national monuments are under review, several may be shrunk or even eliminated. In less than six months, Trump has begun to tear up almost all of the key planks of Barack Obama’s environmental agenda. This blitzkrieg is likely to slow now that it faces a thicket of legal action launched by enraged environmental groups and some states, such as New York. But to Trump’s supporters, the president, who pledged during the campaign to reduce the EPA to “tidbits”, is delivering on his crusade to transport the environmental and industrial outlook of the late 19th century to the modern day. Oliver Milman

Immigration

Donald Trump’s bluster over his harsh immigration reform – namely the implementation of a diluted Muslim-targeted travel ban and a crackdown on undocumented immigrants – belies the cost these self-proclaimed victories have had on both the fundamental institutions of democracy and the most vulnerable communities in the United States.

Take the travel ban, which targets refugees and visa applicants from six Muslim majority countries. The president’s first failed order, haphazardly issued in January, provoked scenes of chaos at airports around the country – temporarily separating families, canceling legitimately issued visas and propelling the country towards a constitutional crisis, before a series of federal courts intervened to block it.

After his second attempt in March was blocked again in the lower courts, the president, seemingly without care for due process or respect for the co-equal branches of government, threatened to simply abolish the federal appeals court he incorrectly identified as responsible for the decision.

‘I have the right to be here’: becoming an American under a Trump presidency

Trump’s bullish perseverance on the ban, which has left many in Muslim and refugee communities around the US living in fear, has resulted in a temporary ruling in the supreme court that allows a much-diluted version of the order to come into effect. Although the president heralded the decision a victory, the ultimate test comes in autumn when the country’s highest court will ultimately rule on the ban’s constitutionality.

The president has also moved quickly to supercharge efforts to round up and deport undocumented immigrants. By empowering Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice), the federal agency responsible deportations, to target essentially anyone in the country without legal paperwork, the number of immigration arrests has soared. Although the administration has celebrated this uptick, it has actually been able to deport people at a much slower rate due to the crippling backlog inside America’s immigration courts.

Trump’s attempt at a solution to this has been to create a network of new courts, attached to remote detention centers and far from the reach of immigration attorneys. The strategy, plagued with due process concerns, has enjoyed mixed success. But, once again, it is those most vulnerable – many of whom have lived in America without paperwork for decades and have no criminal history – who have paid the highest price. Oliver Laughland

no one wants to sit next to the mean kid

Diplomacy

First, the good news. Donald Trump has not started a war. He has, therefore, so far, avoided the worst case scenario that some predicted for his presidency. One-eighth of the way through his term, he does not yet have a stain on his record like George W Bush has with Iraq. Instead, his Twitter spats with cable TV hosts and their indulgence by the media are a luxury of peacetime.

But in other, important ways, the US president has set about diminishing America’s global leadership role and diplomatic standing. He has emphasized the defense of America and western civilization and downplayed democracy and human rights. He has warmed to authoritarian leaders in China, the Philippines, Russia, and Saudi Arabia while going cold on Britain (still no visit), the European Union and Australia. His attacks on the press send an alarming message to dictators everywhere.

The world has noticed. A major survey of 37 countries by Pew Research last month found that just 22% of respondents had some or a great deal of confidence in Trump to do the right thing when it comes to international affairs. After his performance at Nato and G7 meetings, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said pointedly: “The times in which we could completely depend on others are, to a certain extent, over. I’ve experienced that in the last few days. We Europeans truly have to take our fate into our own hands.” At the G-20, he cut a lonely, isolated figure.

Trump appears to push aside Montenegro PM at Nato photocall

This damage could be undone relatively quickly but the “America first” president’s proposed 30% cut to the state department, where many top staff have left and not been replaced, threatens to be a lasting legacy. Max Bergmann, a former official, wrote in Politico: “The deconstruction of the state department is well underway… This is how diplomacy dies. Not with a bang, but with a whimper. With empty offices on a midweek afternoon.”

The outlier in Trump’s foreign policy came on 6 April, when the US launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at an airfield in Syria in retaliation for the regime’s use of chemical weapons against civilians. It was a move welcomed by hawks and loathed by “anti-globalists” in Trump’s support base. But the most urgent issue, enough to test any US president, is North Korea. There is little evidence so far to suggest he will succeed where others have failed. David Smith

 

Gender and Equality

Trump’s White House has wasted little time erasing many of the changes that advocates for trans rights, reproductive rights and survivors of sexual assault achieved under the Obama administration.

The Trump team is in the middle of sharply reversing how the federal government enforces laws against gender bias. In February, the administration withdrew the Obama-era guidelines requiring schools to give transgender students unfettered access to bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identity. And Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, may restrict the federal government’s ability to intervene when colleges and universities do a questionable job of handling students’ complaints of sexual assault.

Trump is also attempting to dismantle the nation’s public safety net for family planning, with an assist from his party in Congress. The president has signed legislation encouraging states to withhold federal family planning dollars from Planned Parenthood. The latest version of Republican’s attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act would eliminate the birth control mandate – which is also under fire from Trump’s health department – not to mention maternity coverage requirements.

Every repeal attempt has contained a measure to block women on Medicaid from using their insurance at Planned Parenthood – measures that would shutter scores of Planned Parenthood clinics across the country. And the administration is poised to give the green light to states, like Texas, that axe Planned Parenthood from their Medicaid programs.

The White House also has aims to zero out funding for the government-funded Legal Services Corporation, which is the main source of legal assistance for women attempting to escape domestic violence, when Congress passes a budget this fall.

Finally, there’s US supreme court justice Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s pick to replace the late Antonin Scalia, who observers say “has all the makings of an extreme anti-abortion justice”. Trump named Gorsuch eleven days into his presidency, fulfilling a longtime campaign promise to nominate justices who will vote to overturn Roe v Wade. Molly Redden

 

Criminal justice

Much of what the federal government can do on criminal justice is left to Congress since most criminal justice happens at state and local, rather than federal levels. However, Trump’s administration hasn’t spared much time doing what it can to reverse a roughly decades long retreat from the peak of tough-on-crime, mass-incarceration dogma.

So far, efforts on criminal justice have been much more sizzle than steak, but the prospect of dramatic policy change looms just around the corner. Stuffed in a suite of executive orders signed in February, Trump commissioned a task force to make recommendations on combating “the menace of rising crime”, which has been an enduring theme of the administration despite being debunked by experts. That task force, which reportedly, and curiously, does not include police chiefs or criminologists is scheduled to make its recommendations on 27 July.

“If you’re going to see anything from the Trump administration proposing new [or longer] mandatory minimums and a general return to the tough on crime tactics, I think you’ll see those recommendations made by the task force,” said Ames Grawert, a criminal justice researcher with the Brennan Center for Justice.

It remains unclear how much support there might be in Congress for taking up such recommendations. As recently as December there was real momentum behind a bipartisan bill to make sentencing less punitive, not more.

In the interim, attorney general Jeff Sessions has instructed federal prosecutors to seek the highest possible penalty in every case and has championed initiatives to push state cases for federal prosecutors to obtain harsher sentencing.

In another reversal from the Obama era, Sessions has also signaled that the DoJ will not use its authority to investigate or reform local police departments, even in cases where gross negligence, or rampant civil rights violations may be occurring. Sessions tried and failed, to pause a consent decree negotiated in Baltimore after the Freddie Gray unrest, and his department has so far flaked-out of a similar effort that was slated for Chicago under the previous administration.

“We will not sign consent decrees for political expediency that will cost more lives by handcuffing the police instead of the criminals,” Sessions wrote in an April 18 op-ed in USA Today. Jamiles Lartey

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/19/six-ways-trump-is-dismantling-america-after-six-months-in-white-house?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+USA+-+Collections+2017&utm_term=235673&subid=9599609&CMP=GT_US_collection

Update # 2 on Your input on Eureka’s “big decision” just became more urgent

It looks like all the public input has worked. The rumor we hear is the City has avoided making a huge mistake by NOT naming Captain Stephens as interim Chief.

Good job everybody involved!!!

 

Update to yesterday’s post:

Sources are telling us now that City Manager Greg Sparks will be making the decision on the replacement for Chief Mills very soon. We also hear while he plans to consult with the Council he’s going to present them with his choice rather than hear suggestions from the council. They will, of course, have to ratify his choice, but it much harder to say no to a singular choice.

The Examiner strongly urges it’s readers to also contact the City Manager as well as their Council Representative. Urge them strongly to avoid the huge mistake of naming Brian Stephens Police Chief or even interim Chief. 

A DECISION WITH BIG IMPLICATIONS FOR THE FUTURE OF EUREKA AND YOUR PERSONAL SAFETY

Whether you’re a community member who thinks Andrews Mills has been great for Eureka or you’re like the Examiner staff who thinks he been wreaking havoc on local law enforcement, his campaign to replace himself as Police Chief with the despicable thug Brian Stephens ought to seriously grab your attention! Stephens, who has a very checkered past, is the guy Mills promoted from Sergeant to Captain shortly after he presided over the negligent killing of Tommy McClain.

The Examiner has been getting lots of tips from inside EPD about the abrupt departure of Mills to Santa Cruz. For the most part, officers have been happy to see Mills and his “used car salesman” leadership will be gone.  However, looming large for everyone who’s reached out has been the view that Chief Mills is set on having Captain Brian Stephens take his place as interim chief.

On Wednesday, July 19th Mills will be having a somewhat odd “Going Away Reception”(?).  There’s speculation at the Police Department that the “Reception” is going to be when Mills starts his full court press for his chosen successor, Captain Brian Stephens.

This should be a very scary thought for Eureka.  Not the least of which was his very questionable leadership (or really lack thereof) in the Tommy McClain murder which the city was found liable in.  We’ve said it before but Eureka can’t forget, if not for Stephens lack of leadership Tommy McClain would be alive today.

Previous post on this topic:

THE SAME SUSPECTS AND FAILED POLICIES THAT RESULTED IN THE WRONGFUL DEATH OF TOMMY MCCLAIN ARE AT THE CENTER OF TUESDAYS CRAZY SHOOTOUT!

TOMMY MCCLAIN: STILL WAITING FOR JUSTICE

But what does Eureka really know about Stephens?  Not much is publicly known, most of the info we’ve been receiving is from officers on the inside who know about all the cover-ups that have gone on at EPD.   Here’s some of the history from the information we’ve received about the lowlights of Stephens career:

Brian Stephens is a Southerner born in Kentucky, a conservative Christian who loves bourbon.  After working as a military policeman, Stephens moved from Kentucky to start his career as a police officer.  Stephens was hired at EPD in the late 90’s.  Stephens was hired around the same time as another infamous EPD Officer, Rodrigo Sanchez.  Within no time Stephens and Sanchez were BFF’s.

“We’re EPD and we kick ass”

The notorious Sanchez and Stephens’s team got quite a reputation on the street and within EPD.  They were feared on the street by citizens and suspects because of their heavy handed tactics and abuse.  They were liked by the “old guard” because they “kicked ass and took names”.  To this day, Stephens and Sanchez are best friends and would do anything for each other, including always covering up for their routine excessive use of force.

When promoted to Captain, Stephens touted his time at the Drug Task Force and as a Field Training Officer.  However, according to EPD employees, Stephens was in both those positions with a dark cloud around him.  As an FTO, there were accusations that he had inappropriate relations with a female trainee.  Along with that, Stephens was having sexual relations with a firefighter’s wife who caught Stephens in bed with his wife.  The firefighter was apparently upset, and Stephens pulled out his gun and allegedly threatened the firefighter and even reportedly pistol whipped him.  These incidents and others have been swept under the rug because of Stephens connections to the Old Guard at EPD (it should also be noted that the two officers at the center of the current Department of Justice investigation of the Coroner’s office, Frank Jager and then Dave Parris ran the detectives bureaus during Stephens early career).

After the alleged problems with female trainee’s and other people’s wives, Stephens was “promoted” to the Drug Task Force which consequently would keep him away from the female employees at EPD for awhile(kind like a priest getting moved to another parish).  Stephens took part in seizing property from drug dealers, so it should be interesting to see he gets caught up in the Department of Justice investigation surrounding Coroners Department.

Since Stephens was promoted to Captain, EPD has lost approximately 70% of their senior patrol officers to other agencies, and many of those officers left because of Stephens poor treatment of those he supervises.

Hopefully, the City Manager and City Council will look into who would be the best fit for the interim Chief position at EPD.   Mills wants as his parting gesture to promote a good ol’ boy from Dixieland, booze lovin’, bible thumpin’, gun pullin’ philanderer!

Is that what the citizens of Eureka want….we’d don’t think so!

Call or Email your council representative know as soon as possible to insist that Manager Greg Sparks block this move by Chief Mills

Marian Brady – 1st ward (707) 441-4169 mbrady@ci.eureka.ca.gov

Heidi Messner – 2nd  Ward  (707) 441-4168  hmessner@ci.eureka.ca.gov

Kim Bergel – Ward 3  (707) 441-4170 kbergel@ci.eureka.ca.gov

Austin Allison – Ward 4 (707) 441-4167 aallison@ci.eureka.ca.gov

Natalie Arroyo – 5th Ward  (707) 441-4171 narroyo@ci.eureka.ca.gov

The Mayor: Prayer Breakfasts in the morning….thievery as a public official during the day????

It appears as if in 2016, the (honorable?) Eureka Mayor Frank Jager was not only earning over $100,000 a year in PERS retirement and $15,000 a year from the County working as a deputy coroner/public “administrator of estates”, he couldn’t help himself from allegedly stealing from dead people thru the unethical practice of having his wife and himself purchasing property from deceased peoples estates at below market value.  We have a question for our very religious Mayor; what would Jesus do?  Certainly not what this ex-EPD “good ole boy” has done.  It is time for Mayor Jager to repent.  It is also time for some justice and for him to reap the consequences of this kind of low-life behavior and probably breaking the law.

This growing scandal is catching many of our local good ole boys by surprise. They thought sheriff Billy was going to handle it in the usual way, appoint the usual suspects to investigate one of their own then say basically “nothing to see here move along” sweeping all under the rug. Well as we posted about before…https://tuluwatexaminer.wordpress.com/2017/07/07/former-epd-good-ol-boys-are-finally-getting-caught-with-their-hands-in-the-cookie-jar/  (OOPS!) The DA invited the State Department of Justice in. For the most part, they don’t give a shit about the local good ole boys perceived right to line their pockets at the rest of our expense. Stay tuned to this story is going to get interesting especially if it starts coming out the tragic death of family members was followed by the looting of their estate

The rumors mill is reporting that Mayor Jager is for some reason feeling a sense of relief because the FBI has declined to investigate at this time.  However, from what we have heard the California Department of Justice is very interested in investigating the whole matter.

Take a deep breath Mayor Jager, it’s going to be quite a ride

Even the Wall Street Journal is completely embarrassed by Donny

The Wall Street Journal unloaded on President Donald Trump late Monday night, lambasting the president for being mired in an investigation into Russian involvement in his campaign and for continually hiding damaging details that inevitably are leaked.

Following a weekend when Trump’s attorney attempted to put out the fire – and failed spectacularly — the Journal editorial board finally had enough.

Under the heading “The Trumps and the Truth,” they wrote, “Even Donald Trump might agree that a major reason he won the 2016 election is because voters couldn’t abide Hillary Clinton’s legacy of scandal, deception and stonewalling. Yet on the story of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, Mr. Trump and his family are repeating the mistakes that doomed Mrs. Clinton.”

“Don Jr. released his emails that showed the Russian lure about Mrs. Clinton and Don Jr. all excited—’I love it.’ Oh, and son-in-law Jared Kushner and Beltway bagman Paul Manafort were also at the meeting. Don Jr. told Sean Hannity this was the full story,” they continued. “But then news leaked that a Russian-American lobbyist was also at the meeting.”

“Even if the ultimate truth of this tale is merely that Don Jr. is a political dunce who took a meeting that went nowhere—the best case—the Trumps made it appear as if they have something to hide. They have created the appearance of a conspiracy that on the evidence Don Jr. lacks the wit to concoct,” they wrote.

The Journal then brought the heat.

“Don’t you get it, guys? Special counsel Robert Mueller and the House and Senate intelligence committees are investigating the Russia story. Everything that is potentially damaging to the Trumps will come out, one way or another. Everything. Denouncing leaks as “fake news” won’t wash as a counter-strategy beyond the President’s base, as Mr. Trump’s latest 36% approval rating shows,” the editorial continued.

According to the Journal, Trump needs to come clean, releasing “every detail that might be relevant to the Russian investigations.”

“That means every meeting with any Russian or any American with Russian business ties. Every phone call or email. And every Trump business relationship with Russians going back years,” they wrote.”This should include every relevant part of Mr. Trump’s tax returns, which the President will resist but Mr. Mueller is sure to seek anyway.”

Writing, “Mr. Trump will probably ignore this advice,” the editors concluded, “Mr. Trump somehow seems to believe that his outsize personality and social-media following make him larger than the Presidency. He’s wrong. He and his family seem oblivious to the brutal realities of Washington politics. Those realities will destroy Mr. Trump, his family and their business reputation unless they change their strategy toward the Russia probe. They don’t have much more time to do it.”

http://www.rawstory.com/2017/07/dont-you-get-it-guys-wsj-eviscerates-oblivious-trump-over-russia-scandal-in-devastating-editorial/

Nobody is safe, in the city of Eureka, NOBODY

With the real possibility of Captain Stephens the officer in charge of the whole Tommy McClain negligent killing debacle being named police chief, we present the following Guest Post from Robin Christofferson:

There’s a lot that the public was never told about the murder of Tommy McClain. For instance, he never got into an argument with the kid in the black truck. I myself have read the kids statement, and he said Tommy never said a word to him. And I also went to the trial, and that was what the whole entire trial was based on, that Tommy got in an argument with that kid. So that’s why they approached Tommy in the first place. That and they said he had a gun. Not true. First off if you’re a cop and your hiding in the back of a cemetery…..how in the world could you hear an argument, then see a gun…and hear the sound of a gun being racked? I’m pretty sure officer McElroy doesn’t have superpowers, but yet the jury believed him. Probably because of the kid in the black truck…nobody saw his statement…because if they did…then I’m pretty sure that the outcome of that civil trial…would have led to criminal charges. But now the trail is over, Tommy’s family have been given “the box” and in it is the truth. This family I love as my own. And they Will never give up…..until the truth about that night comes out. And that will be soon. But until then…nobody is safe, in the city of Eureka Ca. Nobody.

Note from the Examiner: The McClain family’s legal counsel was never allowed by the Judge to completely present its whole case with its witnesses or evidence to challenge the basic premise of this failed enforcement action.
Federal Judges in these type civil cases have broad discretion as to what they will allow or not allow into evidence. In this case, a number of these decisions made by the Judge were very helpful to the accused Police officers and basically cut the legs out from under the McClain family’s case.

We would also bring to your attention that the statements of witnesses and family members have remained consistent from the beginning, while the EPD changed their story several times early on.

New low after new low. If this is what “making America great” looks like, God help us.

So This Is What American Greatness Really Looks Like?

Russian nesting dolls Trump and Putin

This week, Garry Kasparov, former Russian chess champion and perennial critic of Vladimir Putin, tweeted about what autocrats do when caught:

1: Deny, lie, slander accusers.

2: Say it was a misunderstanding.

3. Say ‘What are you going to do about it?

The day after that tweet, Donald Trump stood on a dais in Paris beside the French president and said of his son’s now-confirmed willingness to receive campaign help for his father from Russia: “I think it’s a meeting that most people in politics probably would have taken.”

That would be jaw dropping and bizarre coming from a mob boss at his pretrial hearing, let alone from the president of the United States. But that line is now standard issue among much of Trump’s political party, which has come around to the notion that collusion with a foreign power—even an adversarial one like Russia—is no big deal.

Trump, his family, and his defenders in the once Grand Old Party have mounted various defenses for his campaign’s collusion with Russians and their cutouts to win the 2016 presidential election. They have tried to ignore Russiagate. They have said collusion with Russia never happened. They have blamed Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Loretta Lynch (Trump now says the Russian government lawyer who met with Donald Jr. was only in the country because Lynch let her in. It will surprise no one to discover that’s not true.) And they have landed on the notion that even if collusion did happen, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. Check off all three of the Kasparov boxes.

With Trump’s ascension, the Russification of the Republican Party, which once supported apartheid-era South Africa and continues to back a Cuba embargo, both on the basis of keeping countries out of Russia’s sphere of influence, is complete. Trump, who in the 1980s complained that Ronald Reagan was too tough on the Soviets, and who has used Russians, including reputed mobsters, as everything from bailouts to buyers to brokers for the expansion of his hotel and pageant franchises, has officially brought kakistocracy to Washington. None but the most unmoored to any recognizable morality need apply. He has made fools of his own spokespeople. He has exposed the religious right’s leaders as very much men of this world, with all its hatred and avarice. He has unleashed the forces of white nationalism and even neo-Nazism in our country. And he has revealed an America that is far less than we thought we were eight years ago when the United States became the first former slave republic to make a member of its once entrapped minority population its national leader.

One wonders whether this democracy, as fragile as it has been revealed to be, and whether the presidency as an institution is entirely salvageable, now that Trump has exploded the norms we thought constrained the office at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Since becoming president, Trump has flouted the emoluments clause and openly profited from his office, taking payments from all comers, from the State Department to foreign governments at his golf courses, hotels and his private Florida club. He has encouraged his children to treat the White House as a marketing tool for the Trump businesses, and allowed them to commingle their business activities and ongoing involvement in his government. He has turned American foreign policy into a Santa’s workshop for Saudi and Russian interests and goals, from the needless fight with Qatar to pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate accords to attempting to return the Kremlin’s spy facilities, which the Obama administration seized in retaliation for Russian interference in our election, to giving Russian oligarchs direct financial interest in the Keystone pipeline boondoggle to having his administration lean on House members to soften a Russia sanctions package. (He even briefly floated the outrageous and absurd notion of cybersecurity cooperation with the Kremlin.) He has invited the Russian foreign ministry into the Oval Office out of the eye and earshot of the American media, who now are reduced to audio-only press briefings where they take a back seat to Trump sycophant right-wing blogs, and he has now canoodled with Putin himself, taking the murderous Russian autocrat’s word for it that no election meddling occurred.

Trump has made political thuggery the new American political standard; throwing allies overboard and cuddling up to dictators and autocrats around the world. He has diminished American influence and credibility every day he has been in office.

Meanwhile, he has stripped the presidency of its basic dignity, tweeting his every thought at all hours of the day. He presents America in his world travels as a troglodyte nation, led by an ill-mannered, ill-tempered, praise-needy buffoon—a real life Joffrey Baratheon—who still thinks he’s a television performer, and whose attention to duty lasts only as long as his favorite Fox shows aren’t on.

Domestically, he has thrown the country into chaos, from his Muslim travel bans to his utter incoherence on health care, which he and his party are threatening to strip from up to 23 million people so they can fork over a trillion dollars to America’s own oligarchs. Putin must be positively gleeful at the damage his little ruse—tricking the arrogant ignoramuses of the Trump campaign into believing Russian hackers had the goods on Hillary, and then reeling them in—has wrought.

And so, a political party that long prided itself on a particular kind of patriotism now welcomes foreign interference, so long as it helps them win. A nation that dragged itself, painfully, from slavery to the Voting Rights Act now faces a federal government that is the single biggest threat to the right of all people to vote. A country that stuck out its chest in promoting a particular kind of greatness now wallows in defunding public education, gutting scientific research, and promoting basic ignorance about the planet in the service of bygone industries belching pollution into the air and water, as if American innovation that could create new industries and new jobs for those displaced workers is no longer possible.

Meanwhile, our children are learning that bullies do indeed prosper; that cruelty and narcissism can be a pathway to power, that one of our two major parties believes the poor and struggling do not deserve health care, and that according to the president of the United States, women essentially have no value beyond their looks and dress sizes.

One wonders whether the presidency can recover, or whether we’re doomed to live in an endless cycle of lowbrow celebrity autocracy—America remade in the image of Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi.

Already, other entertainers are bellying up to the bar, eager to follow Trump’s grubby example and take their turn at political powerball. We could soon have a national leadership that includes The Rock, Kid Rock, and who knows, maybe Ted Nugent, now that white nationalism and public vulgarity have gone mainstream.

What hope is there for a country that has reduced itself to this? What future? For now, it’s hard to see a particularly bright one. If this is what making America great looks like, God help us when greatness ensues.

JOY-ANN REID in the Daily Beast